Archive for the 'Star Wars' Category

Cast Reunions, ‘The Hobbit’ and Dress Like Luke Skywalker

I apologize to all my fans or the two that I have (mom and dad) for not updating very much over the past couple of months. Summer was crazy and Fall has proven even more maddening. But a few things caught my eye today.

Entertainment Weekly came out with a “Reunions” issue this week and posted some fun video of the casts talking about their films and tv shows. Some of the noteworthy clips include “Back to the Future” with Michael J. Fox and Lea Thompson, the guys from “Lord of the Rings” and Jennifer Garner and Victor Garber talking “Alias.” The “Scream” trio is currently working on the fourth edition in that film series, they also spoke to the magazine about the slasher films.

Check out the videos below:

Can’t embed “Alias” but here’s the link.

EW also reunited several other casts “Will & Grace”, “The West Wing”, “Roots”, “Married…With Children” and “Pretty in Pink.” More on information on those can be found here.


And on the topic of “Lord of the Rings”, it appears its prequel will finally start shooting next year. The Wrap reports “The Hobbit” has finally got the green light to begin principal photography in February 2011. The site also mentions that Peter Jackson (initially just an executive producer on the project) will indeed direct both installments after Guillermo Del Toro dropped out earlier this year. The first movie is expected to hit theaters in late December 2012. Not a lot of time to get it done, hopefully it won’t affect the quality of the production.


And if you’ve been thinking you don’t have enough Rebel Alliance apparel in your closet, has a deal for you…for the low, low price of just $274.99 you could wear the same jacket as Luke Skywalker during the medal ceremony at the end of “A New Hope.” I’m a fan, but I don’t think I would buy that thing if it was $10, let alone nearly $300. Well, maybe $10.

posted by Seth Szilagyi in Scream,Star Wars,The Hobbit,TV News and have No Comments

May the 3D Be With You…

Just call it the “Avatar” effect. The 3D monster descended on this planet about a year ago and has since devoured the minds of Hollywood. And that now includes one of its best, George Lucas.

The “Star Wars” movies are once again coming to a theater near you, but this time in 3D. Normally, I slam Lucas for his constant tinkering with the films and apparent disregard for fans of the the original trilogy. But I’m not going to do that this time. Why? Because with this move, I think I finally get it. Lucas is a businessman. Bottom line. And I can respect that. I don’t have to like it, but I respect it.

Over the past 33 years, the universe he created has expanded and morphed into a juggernaut cash cow with aging fan boys willing to fork over their life savings for anything Mr. Lucas decides to throw at them. But his marketing genius doesn’t stop there. When he re-released the movies back in 1997 with new CGI and scenes that didn’t make the cut the first time around, it wasn’t just to grab nostalgic fans. That also introduced Star Wars to a whole new generation of children. Most of those people are probably in college now, but for them it’s been a different experience all along. They have never known that Han shot first. They have never known the Death Star exploded in a starry-blast, instead of a giant ring. And they have never known Jabba was not always entertained by unrealistic computer-animated jazz singers.

And the same thing happened with the prequels. There’s no Stormtroopers, there’s Clone Troopers. Yoda isn’t a sage-like puppet living in a swamp, he’s a swashbuckling whirling dervish who takes on Darth Sidious. And Darth Vader, well he’s just a whiny kid who lost his mother to the Sand People then blamed it on Obi Wan instead of being a galaxy-ruling, force-choking killer. But, none of the plot holes or horrible acting matters because kids don’t care about a storyline and Lucas understands that. It’s all about the visuals.

That’s where 3D comes in. To me, it’s just a bit of depth perception provided by some cumbersome, clunky glasses, but for the younger generation it’s probably akin to seeing “Jurassic Park” for the first time back in 1993. At the time, I thought that was the best movie I’d ever seen. But looking back at it now, the acting is weak and the mistakes are many. But it goes back to the visuals, which were amazing. It’s the same situation with “Avatar.” I could have written that movie on my lunch break.

So, I guess what I’m trying to say is this. 3D is not the answer…for me and millions of others. But one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. Or in this case, one kid’s three-dimensional Jar Jar is another man’s Han Solo. Good luck, Mr. Lucas, you’re gonna need it.

Here’s Visual Effects Supervisor John Knoll talking about how the conversion to 3D will happen.

The first one to get the 3D treatment will be “Episode I: The Phantom Menace.” You’d think Lucasfilm would start with one of the best films not the worst, but what do I know. Here’s the trailer to refresh your memories of this disastrous movie. It’s actually much better the film itself, barely shows any scenes with Jar Jar or young Anakin. Good work marketing department!

posted by Seth Szilagyi in 3D,Avatar,Star Wars and have Comment (1)

Update On the Lost ‘Jedi’ Clip & is 3D Already Dead?

Yesterday, I speculated that the deleted scene shown by Lucasfilm to tease its upcoming blu-ray release may not be as advertised. See my comments below.

And for the “seemingly” part. It looks legit and probably is, but there is part of me that thinks that clip was not filmed in 1982. One, all of the Darth Vader lines are virtually ripped from “Empire” and two, you never really see Mark Hamill’s face, just his chin. Like I said, I always thought this scene was never actually shot. Could this just be a ploy to get fans excited about the blu-ray discs and spend more money? I doubt it, but it makes for a great conspiracy theory.

Now, there is further evidence that, at the very least…it’s not what it appears to be. The clip below reveals that Mark Hamill never filmed that scene. So, the actor under the cloak is not him. Take a look.

I realize many shots in movies are body doubles, not the real actors. But, most of that is for scenes involving stunts, shots from behind or close ups. It seems this type of important establishing shot of Luke that was supposed to be at the beginning of the movie would be the real actor. I know I’m obsessing over this a little, but it would be a huge cheat if this were not filmed in the eighties.


And now to my disdain for 3D!

If television news is correct and they are never wrong! 3D is already losing steam and credibility with moviegoers. Many studio big wigs will tell you different, but that’s because they’ve invested millions in this gimmick that didn’t work in the 50’s or 80’s.

Check out the CBS story below.

posted by Seth Szilagyi in 3D,Star Wars and have No Comments

‘Star Wars’ Trilogy On Blu Ray 2011 & A Legendary ROTJ Deleted Scene

Lucasfilm has announced the original trilogy will finally be released on blu-ray next year. It will be a six movie box set featuring deleted scenes.

And that’s where it really gets interesting. Yes, deleted scenes may not seem like a big deal, but for these films they kind of are. Some have popped up on YouTube, but many have been kept under lock and key and rarely seen. There’s one I did not think even really exist. It’s a scene where Luke Skywalker is constructing his lightsaber at the beginning of “Return of the Jedi.” I was always under the impression that it had been conceptualized, but never actually filmed. Now, there’s proof that was not the case….seemingly….

Okay, not anything that’s going to change your life (except maybe for that guy who screams like a 10-year-old girl during the clip) but kind of cool.

And for the “seemingly” part. It looks legit and probably is, but there is part of me that thinks that clip was not filmed in 1982. One, all of the Darth Vader lines are virtually ripped from “Empire” and two, you never really see Mark Hamill’s face, just his chin. Like I said, I always thought this scene was never actually shot. Could this just be a ploy to get fans excited about the blu-ray discs and spend more money? I doubt it, but it makes for a great conspiracy theory.

posted by Seth Szilagyi in Star Wars and have No Comments

‘Star Wars’, “Hurley” and ‘Simpsons’ Nostalgia

As any guy my age and George Lucas’ wallet can attest, Star Wars has become ingrained in our culture. For a look at just how much we have morphed into parts from the series check out this article from the Christian Science Monitor.


And speaking of Star Wars, 30,000 fans are expected to attend a four-day convention called “Celebration V” in Orlando this weekend.

Some of the highlights include appearances by Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher and the main man himself George Lucas. He’s actually scheduled to be interviewed by Jon Stewart as part of the Daily Show. You can check out the details on all the fandom here.


Yesterday, Weezer announced the cover to its next album would be a picture of Hurley from “Lost” aka actor Jorge Garcia. And the album will even be called “Hurley.” Too bad Weezer makes dull pop music now otherwise that would make it that much cooler. Anyway, the Washington Post had a funny look at what would happen if other singers/bands adopted “Lost” characters.


For whatever reason, nostalgia probably, I had a yearning to watch old episodes of the Simpsons this week…back when it was funny. There are a ton of hilarious clips from seasons three through eight. Here are just a few I could find on youtube.


“You stupid monkey.”

“Oh, not in Utica. It’s an Albany expression.”

“Um…you probably should ignore that.”

posted by Seth Szilagyi in Lost,Star Wars,The Simpsons and have No Comments

Happy 30th Anniversary To ‘The Empire Strikes Back’

30 years ago, “The Empire Strikes Back” blasted into theaters and shattered expectations by surpassing its predecessor “Star Wars” later renamed “A New Hope.”

Last night Lucasfilm held a special screening of the film at the ArcLight Theater in Los Angeles for charity. It was followed by a question and answer period with Harrison  Ford. Billy Dee Williams, Peter Mayhew and Ewan McGregor were also in attendance. And for some reason so were Ashlee Simpson and Pete Wentz. Seriously, who let them in the door?

I must admit they all look old. Especially Peter Mayhew who played Chewbacca. But, he does have a pretty kick ass lightsaber cane.

Here’s Darth Vader and Luke’s lightsaber duel edited together from “Empire.” My small way of celebrating. I may also go up to random people and tell them “I am your father.” On second thought, that may be too creepy.

And finally, check out this Imperial Star Destroyer themed home theater. It has Han frozen in carbonite and everything. Pretty sweet.

posted by Seth Szilagyi in Star Wars and have No Comments

Star Wars On Blu Ray + The Return Of Han, Luke & Leia??

Just to start off, no, a date has not been set for a blu ray release of the original trilogy or the prequel trilogy for that matter. But, is reporting that Steve Sansweet (a Lucasfilm Fan rep) told audiences at a recent convention that blu ray discs are being worked on and they will include plenty of never-before-seen material. So at this time, it’s kind of a “be patient, it’s coming” scenario. Not great, but something. I just hope the discs include both versions of the films remastered and in HD. Because the originals Lucas released on dvd a few years back were worse than a vhs copy I had when I was 12. And frankly, not to be too much of a fanboy, but the 1997 versions of the films are not the films I want. The reasons are too numerous to count: In Star Wars, Han shooting first and that awful CGI Jabba. In Empire Strikes Back, Boba Fett’s voice changed to match the actor in the prequels and Vader’s line changed from a super-pissed “Bring my shuttle!” to a more subdued “Alert my Star Destroyer to prepare for my arrival.” In Jedi, the idiotic beak on the sarlaac and having to see Hayden Christensen at the end instead of Sebastian Shaw as Anakin Skywalker. And that’s just the short list.

If you want to see all the differences from the original Empire and the re-do click here.

Also talked about at the convention, the possibility of our old friends Han, Luke, Leia, et al appearing in the future animated series. Not the current “Clone Wars” cartoon, but apparently the sitcom comedy. So, I guess after they took out the second death star, beat the Empire and tossed Palpatine down a electrified chasm, they went and had a few laughs at the cantina. Yikes.

posted by Seth Szilagyi in Star Wars and have Comment (1)

EW Celebrates the 30th Anniversary of ‘Empire’

If anyone doubts the staying power of “Star Wars” look no further than this week’s cover of Entertainment Weekly. The issue, in stores or your mailbox today, features a vintage picture from “The Empire Strikes Back.” Chewbacca is holding Princess Leia on the cover in honor of the 30th anniversary of arguably the best sequel ever. The magazine includes some never-before-seen photos from the production and a story on a new book coming out on the making of the movie.

Personally, it’s my favorite of all the “Star Wars” films and probably my favorite movie period. It’s just a far superior to anything of George Lucas’ prequel trilogy, focusing on characters while intertwining some pretty sweet action that still stands up to today’s wallpaper CGI. And something tells me, in 2032, EW will not put out an issue celebrating the 30th anniversary of “Attack of the Clones.” Just a hunch.

posted by Seth Szilagyi in Star Wars and have Comments (2)

Yoda, Darth Vader & Lando Walk Into A Bar…

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. No really…stop. Not me, but George Lucas because he doesn’t seem to want to leave well enough alone. As if the prequel trilogy and Cartoon Network’s awful “Clone Wars” series weren’t painful enough, according to Variety Lucasfilm is developing a new animated show. And wait for it…it’s going to be a sitcom, as in comedy. I’ll give you a minute to digest that.

Seth Green of “Robot Chicken” fame and a “Daily Show” scribe will help write the series. They may be talented, but I just can’t see anything good coming of this. I mean, what am I missing? Can no one in that company stand up to Lucas and say “George, not sure that’s gonna work. We might as well make a comedy about women in Afghanistan.”

You know what’s funny about Star Wars? Outtakes, parodies, Lucas trying to justify Jar Jar Binks or this kid…

posted by Seth Szilagyi in Star Wars and have No Comments

Rare Star Wars Photos

Total Film has posted some cool behind the scenes pictures from all three original Star Wars. You can check them out here. I think my favorites are Carrie Fisher aka Leia with a beer in her hand standing next to an X-Wing and Luke and C3PO on the Mos Eisley Cantina set. Shows you just how small that set really was.

posted by Seth Szilagyi in Star Wars and have No Comments